Listening to Snow

When and Where

Saturday, January 18, 2020 3:00 pm to Saturday, March 21, 2020 5:00 pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery
Art Museum
7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, ON M5S 3H3


Michael Snow’s seventy years of internationally acclaimed experimentation and innovation in diverse media offers sound in multiple forms – composed and improvised music, sound installations, sound recordings, as well as visualized sounds in formats of sculptures, paintings, and experimental films. In an interview with Annette Michelson, Snow described his diverse interests in working with sound as 'departments of interest’: “[M]y background is partly in jazz, so that’s a certain lineage. But then there are other things that really were more related to the way I’ve made films or some of the multitrack recordings that I’ve done that really don’t have any improvisation. They are compositions that use the possibilities of multitrack: of layering, of superimposing one element of music on the other, and so on. And it’s a compositional tool.”

Listening to Snow is a devoted-to-listening space, a music box, focusing on ideas and thoughts arising from a selection of Snow’s sounds. Composed and tuned, the exhibition manifests as one sonic experience from three sound installations [Diagonale (1988), Waiting Room (2000), Tap (1969-1972)], one screening [Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids) (2002)], two recordings [Falling Starts, W in the D (1975)], and a piano for Snow’s performance – all sharing the same acoustic space.

The exhibition (curated by Liora Belford) is part of the Hart House’s centennial programming recognizing the special place the institution holds in Snow’s biography.

Opening Reception
Saturday, January 18, 3-5pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Listening to Snow: Screenings
Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen (16 mm film, 270 minutes)
Saturday, February 22, 1pm

Wavelength (16 mm film, 45 minutes) and Laurie Kwasnik’s documentary Snow in Vienna (HD Video, 34 minutes)
Saturday, February 29, 1pm

La Région Centrale (16 mm film, 190 minutes)
Saturday, March 14, 7pm

All screenings taking place at Innis Town Hall

Curatorial Listening Tour with Liora Belford
Wednesday, February 26, 5pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Solo Piano Performance by Michael Snow
Saturday, March 21, 4pm
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Drop-In Guided Tours
Tuesdays at 2pm beginning January 28, 2020
Meet at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

The Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council.

Contact Information


Ann and Harry Malcolmson, Department of Art History (University of Toronto), University of Toronto Art Museum